British Royal Family Website Overthrown by Russian Ransomware Gang 

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royal family website ddos

Pro-Russian hackers have claimed responsibility for crashing the British royal family's website after a royal source revealed the site had been hit by a cyber attack. 

The denial of service (DDoS) attack, which took the website offline for an hour over Sunday lunchtime, overwhelmed its server to prevent it from loading correctly, if at all Upon visiting the URL, the page displayed an error message “Gateway time-out Error code 504” in the usual DDoS style. 

A source from the royal family said that the threat actors did not gain access to internal systems or content and that the website had not been hacked, since no systems were breached.

The site was back and running by midday, but appears to be running additional security checks on users before allowing them on the site. Buckingham Palace is yet to comment on the incident.

Killnet claims responsibility 

A pro-Russia hacktivist group that calls itself Killnet claimed to be behind the attack, sharing a link to the site on a Telegram channel along with a link to a website describing the Royal Family’s role in the UK and the Commonwealth. 

Killnet has been active since at least 2022, around the time that Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. The hacktivist group has become known for its DDpS attacks against countries supporting Ukraine in the ongoing war, especially NATO members, according to an analyst note released earlier this year by the Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"While KillNet's DDoS attacks usually do not cause major damage, they can cause service outages lasting several hours or even days," the note reads. 

 "Although KillNet's ties to official Russian government organizations such as the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) or the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) are unconfirmed, the group should be considered a threat to government and critical infrastructure organizations including healthcare."

KillNet has been previously designated a terrorist organisation by the Latvian government after taking credit for a cyberattack that temporarily crippled the nation’s parliamentary web services. 

The group has also targeted the hacktivist group Anonymous and also claimed responsibility for taking down the American military company Lockheed Martin in August this year. The US military never confirmed this.

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